EIGHT new volunteers have completed their training on York Rescue Boat, and could soon be patrolling the River Ouse with the rest of the team.

On Wednesday, the new recruits joined the rest of the crew for culmination of their training in a large exercise on the Ouse.

With a boat crew on the water - headed by one existing volunteer who is now training as a helm to drive the boat - the new members provided the shore support. They are now ready to join the rest of the 27-strong volunteer team patrolling the riverside.

After seeing the new recruits training hard in working safely around water, radio communications, and the local area, the existing team said they were delighted with their progress.

The Rescue Boat's lead coxswain Mark Mullen said: "They've all put in great efforts and we're proud of them.

"We're pleased to welcome the eight on board."

Mark was one of two existing volunteers who went into the river as "casualties" for the new members to practice their water rescue skills, and wearing a waterproof camera he captured video footage of the rescue from a casualty's point of view.

Now the first stage of training is complete, the new recruits will start patrolling the river banks while a rescue boat crew is on duty, and can work towards joining the boat crew themselves.

Many of the new volunteers are also hoping to join the organisation's flood rescue team, which is a nationally recognised asset and can be called out to any major flooding incident anywhere in the country.

The team, which only took to the water for the first time in May last year, has already seen action in York floods at Christmas, and went to Cumbria late last year to help people hit by the Storm Desmond floods.

Another round of recruitment for boat crew volunteers will take place later in the year, and the team is planning ahead for its annual fundraising ball in the autumn.